Residents cling on to debris to stay afloat during flooding caused by Typhoon Ondoy in Cainta Rizal, east of Manila September 27, 2009. REUTERS/Erik de Castro
If public health is not addressed quickly, it could lead to another disaster

Philippine floods: Oxfam sends in aid team

“Right now, we’re focusing on where needs are the greatest. My biggest worry is public health.”
Arif Jabbar Khan
Oxfam’s Humanitarian Coordinator
Published: 28 September 2009

International aid agency Oxfam is sending in teams to the flooded areas in the Philippines and gearing up its aid response. It has suspended its on-going long-term development program work in the Philippines in order to mobilize its resources for the humanitarian operation.

Two teams will conduct assessments outside Manila in Rizal and Bulacan whilst another team is seeing what Oxfam can do in Pasig City in Metro Manila.

“Our focus is on public health and food, especially for women and girls who are disproportionately affected by disasters such as this.  Right now, we’re focusing on where needs are the greatest. My biggest worry is public health.  If it’s not addressed quickly, it could lead to another disaster,” said Arif Jabbar Khan, Oxfam’s Humanitarian Coordinator.

Oxfam is initially targeting its assistance at 10,000 families but this may increase as the situation becomes clearer.

The agency is flying in an emergency aid team from Bangkok and its Vietnam and Cambodia offices are on alert and preparing for the impact of this storm which is expected to hit other countries in the region.